Jane and I have had a couple of small bonfires this month to tidy some of the sticks, twigs and other assorted garden debris lying around outside (and also providing ash to enrich some areas of the garden). The fire shown on the right, from last week, burned extremely well; last night’s one went okay but didn’t have quite the same vigour.
Initially we thought it was due to having less substantial fuel to hand. It got underway but we didn’t have anything more than small sticks to feed it with. However, after a while we noticed that it was a still night whereas the previous week had been moderately breezy. Sure enough, fanning the fire caused it to burn much brighter.
That reminded me of 2 Timothy 1:6:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
I notice that the translation I normally use (NASB) says “kindle afresh” rather than “fan into flame”, so I’m wary of making too much of the metaphor. However, I can definitely attest that fires burn hotter when there is some kind of breeze. I’ll ponder the spiritual import of that but definitely need to remember it next time I’ve got a fire to make.